Saddled with costly legal woes since its troubled takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008, Bank of America Corp. said Wednesday it will pay as much as $950 million to settle Financial Guaranty Insurance Co.'s claims over residential mortgage-backed securities that went bust during the financial crisis.
In its effort to protect public companies and legitimate businesses in general, the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be overlooking the effect its rulings are having on those for whom the fraud provisions of the securities laws were designed to protect. Should the court ring the death knell on class action securities cases, the South Florida climate for Ponzi schemers and other fraudsters will become better than ever, says Lawrence Kellogg, a founding partner of Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.
The Arkansas Supreme Court's decision in Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Arkansas dealt a blow to state attorneys general seeking to take action in matters primarily within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The case could signal a court pushback against state encroachment into federal regulatory matters, and may curb the outsourcing of litigation to private counsel with financial incentives to pursue enormous recoveries in court, say attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently signed two long-awaited memoranda of understanding, the lower-profile information-sharing one, which provides FERC with “large trader data” in the CFTC’s possession, being the more significant. Regulators achieved a significant victory by including surveillance purposes in the memo — it was a long time coming and provides FERC with a potent tool for surveilling the natural gas and power markets, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.
Far from being some secret Skull and Bones-like project, the American Law Institute's Principles of Liability Insurance are presently the most talked-about subject among liability insurance professionals. As for their possible significance for liability coverage issues, there wouldn’t be all this talk if there were nothing to see, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.
Insurance should cover income loss not only when operations are completely shuttered, but also when your business is partially suspended — a distinction important to hotel owners and operators, with services more likely to operate on a reduced level after a loss. Today, some policies affirmatively state the extent of business slowdown coverage to avoid court decisions that narrowly interpret coverage extended under older policy forms, say Allen Wolff and Vianny Pichardo of Anderson Kill PC.
California’s prevailing wage law may not be the oldest in the country, but it may be the most complex, evolving and litigated. The penalties for contractors and subcontractors who fail to comply with California's law have grown costlier — noncompliance risks up to a three-year ban on the bidding of public works projects in the state, says Jeremy Wooden of Foley & Lardner LLP.
Though the antitrust agencies’ recent policy statement on cybersecurity information-sharing is consistent with prior guidance, it is significant. It is not likely that cybersecurity legislation will become law anytime soon, and this statement responds to industry’s concerns by clearly establishing that properly designed and executed cyberthreat information-sharing does not raise antitrust concerns, say Jamillia Padua Ferris and Paul Tiao of Hunton & Williams LLP.
The rights, powers and duties of the bankruptcy trustee should be as broad as possible in order to allow the trustee flexibility to operate and address various issues as they arise. While a trust agreement may simply state that a trustee is authorized to carry out the objectives of the trust and implement the terms of the plan, the better practice is to both provide a broad grant of authority and to also identify specific duties, says Ilan Scharf of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP.
Among the most significant changes being made to the Russian Civil Code is the introduction of the security trustee concept, which will strengthen syndicated lending and asset-backed security structures involving Russian collateral, and will bring the Russian legal system into harmony with the most developed legal systems in the world in this area, says Alexey Kukharev of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
The new world of 3-D printing raises many new and old questions about how to use intellectual property as part of a business model. Utility patents, copyrights, design patents and trade dress offer relevant, adaptable protection options, and each has its own set of pros, cons and considerations, say Paige Stradley and George Lewis of Merchant & Gould.